This is the biggest pastel I have ever done, and I like it a lot.
It was a commission for a lovely couple – they wanted something big for their loungeroom and told me which colours they liked but apart frfom that gave me carte blanche. These are the best kinds of commissions to get.
I used a large piece of bord and then primedd it 6 or 7 times with expensive special pastel priming paint that doesn’t work. Well it works, but only sort of.
I was being really frantic at the time I was doing this and of course needed the money terribly. But, you see, the pastel surfaces that I use are highly abrasive. They have some kind of grit in them, sand or something, to give the surface tooth. Beiing frantic about it and working on such a large surface, I had no fingerprints left by the first few days of working on it.
The couple buying it came to see me and told me to stop – I had to really anyway – I was getting blood intot the pastel and spoiling it. So I waited another week for my fingers to heal before finishing it.
The model is my gorgeous ex partner Kirsty, for both figures. They are I guess two aspects of her personality – one wild and drawn to storm and sea and one quiet studious and naive.
I like the ambiguity – one of my favourite themes it seems. Is she jumping or looking? And once again my favourite symbol of the burning boat, the viking funeral. It works for me because it is a very dark symbol of death, a reminder of cool weird old mythos and a bright light
Pastel on paper